SEN. Emmanuel Pacquiao, or anyone who meets the qualifications laid down by the Constitution, can run for president in 2022, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“The Constitution gives requirements. So, anybody, any citizen of this country passing those basic qualifications can be president,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
He issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte urged Pacquiao to carefully study any plan to seek the presidency.
“You must remember the housewife, Cory Aquino, became president,” Panelo said, referring to former president Corazon Aquino, who went up against then strongman Ferdinand Marcos in a snap presidential election in 1986.
When asked if Pacquiao would be a good or effective president, Panelo said, “Anybody can be a good president until he sits in the office.”
Under Article VII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution, only a natural-born citizen of the Philippines may be elected president.
A presidential candidate must also be a registered voter, able to read and write, at least 40 years of age and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding such election.
Pacquiao turned 40 on December 17, 2018.
The boxer-turned-senator earlier said he was not eyeing the presidency.
“I don’t have that in my mind right now,” Pacquiao had said. “I have no plans to run for president.”
He has been a legislator since 2010, when he represented Sarangani province at the House of Representatives.
He was reelected in 2013 and became a senator in 2016.